Musicians and their allies poured out in droves on December 16.---

The cause was

Santa Fe Music Alliance

's inaugural event at Cowgirl, which featured music, food and an explanation of the new organization's goals.

Halfway through the night, newly elected president Jono Manson spoke to a crowded room about the Alliance's goals, and was nice enough to condense these into an email for me to reprint here:

"The Alliance plans to undertake a range of initiatives including promoting concert events (particularly all-ages shows), creating a group health insurance plan for working musicians, establishing mentorship programs and a scholarship fund for young musicians, and aid in the creation of new venues. We believe in empowering musicians to improve the quality of their work and raise their professional standards, and in encouraging collaboration. We also want to promote the Santa Fe music community and create incentives for outside performers, promoters, recording artists and producers to bring their business here. We believe that by improving the music economy we can stimulate the economy as a whole. We feel encouraged by the outpouring of support we've seen so far and will do everything we can to maintain momentum and move ahead.

"We'll soon be setting up our website (in the interim we have a facebook page: and, within a week or so, new members will be able to enroll on-line. Anyone can join and annual membership is $20.00. We're also in the process of establishing a “Pro Membership,” which will cost $75.00 annually and will include an extensive benefits package consisting of discounts from numerous local businesses and service providers, special rates on SFMA - sponsored events (concerts, workshops etc), and more."

In a recent

, I criticized the propensity of locals and non-locals alike to complain about Santa Fe music.

The Alliance seems well poised to tackle some of the problems inherent in our small scene as well as build upon its assets in a productive and organized way.

Check back for updates on SFMA and its initiatives as they develop.

Image from SFMA's Facebook page.